We did say we'd get around to playing some newer games, so we thought we'd start with a AAA title featuring cutting-edge graphics, an immersive plot, a sympathetic protagonist and hyper-realistic animal simulation. And then we recorded ourselves playing Goat Simulator.
(We recorded this during pre-order early access the day before the game was launched.)
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Goat Simulator is a third-person perspective action video game developed and published by Coffee Stain Studios. It was released for Microsoft Windows via Steam on 1 April 2014, and ports for Mac OS X and Linux were released on 27 June 2014. Mobile versions for iOS and Android were released on 17 September 2014. Versions for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One were released on 17 April 2015, and for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 on 11 August 2015; these ports were developed by Double Eleven.
The game has been compared by the developer as akin to skateboarding games, but where the player controls a goat aimed at doing as much damage as possible around an open-world map, without any other larger goals. The game, initially developed as a joke prototype from an internal game jam and shown in an early alpha state in YouTube videos, was met with excitement and attention, prompting the studio to build out the game into a releasable state while still retaining various non-breaking bugs and glitches to maintain the game's entertainment value.
The game received mixed reviews; some reviewers praised the title for providing a humorous sandbox interface to experiment with, while others criticized the game's reliance on social media to popularize what was otherwise a simple and buggy product.
Goat Simulator is an open-ended third-person perspective game in which the player controls a goat. The player is free to explore the game's world, a suburban setting, as a goat, and jump, run, bash things, and lick objects. Licking objects attaches the goat's tongue to the object and lets the player drag the object around until they let go. At any time, the player can let the goat drop into a ragdoll model, allowing the game's physics to take over, and another control makes the game run in slow-motion. A number of environmental features allow the player to manipulate the goat into stunts such as bouncing off trampolines or launching the goat into the air through large fans. The game features a scoring system similar to skateboarding games like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, whereby doing tricks or other actions earns points, while chaining such tricks together in sequence helps build a multiplier that applies to the total score of the tricks done in the sequence. Various in-game goals, such as achieving a certain height, completing flips, or destroying certain objects, are given to the player, but the player is not required to follow these instructions.
Small gold goat statues are hidden in the game's world. Collecting this allows the goat to restart the game with various modifiers in play, such as changing the goat model to a demon goat, a giraffe, or an ostrich, or adding a jetpack to the goat that can be activated at any time. Various easter eggs are scattered about the sandbox, such as a castle where one can become the Queen of all Goats, or where the goat character gains a move similar to Sonic the Hedgehog's spin attack. The game's lead developer Armin Ibrisagic noted after release that the game's setting is a parody of the concept of Purgatory, having left references to Heaven and Hell that were later found by fans. Ibrisagic also noted the inclusion of some elements based on the 2014 Ukrainian revolution.
Goat Simulator received mixed reviews upon release; the game has a weighted aggregate rating of 62.48% on GameRankings, based on 25 reviews, and 61/100 on Metacritic, based on 39 reviews. Goat Simulator was named as an honorable mention for Excellence in Audio for the 2015 Independent Games Festival.
Eurogamer's Dan Whitehead complimented Coffee Stain Studios on building in enough content Goat Simulator and potential expansion through Steam to prove it more than a simple joke title, and instead a brief diversion "in which the player is a willing participant". Dan Stapleton of IGN considered the title a "clever interactive spoof of all the broken game physics we’ve seen in open worlds" and despite being short, was a "hell of a good time".
Goat Simulator. (2016, February 14). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.